Paul George Munro

Paul George Munro
UNSW Sydney | UNSW · School of Humanities and Languages

BA, MA, PhD

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42
Publications
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593
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Publications

Publications (42)
Book
“Empire forestry”—the broadly shared forest management practice that emerged in the West in the nineteenth century—may have originated in Europe, but it would eventually reshape the landscapes of colonies around the world. Melding the approaches of environmental history and political ecology, Colonial Seeds in African Soil unravels the complex ways...
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This paper builds on heterogeneous infrastructures scholarship to examine urban electricity access geographies in the Global South. I propose the notion of urban bricoleurs to help understand how the urban poor negotiate changing electrical infrastructure opportunities. Using a Ugandan case study, I present socio-electric stories of residents to sh...
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Historically, “energy poverty” in Sub-Saharan Africa has been understood in relatively static terms and its solutions largely understood as a modernist state-led project of expanding centralised distribution to achieve a coordinated ‘transition’ from traditional fuels. In recent decades, however, political economies of energy in the region have exh...
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In this article, I develop a political ecology analysis of Vanuatu’s grid electricity policies, with a specific focus on Espiritu Santo Island. I show how the global political economy looms large in shaping the island’s energy geographies. Colonial legacies, ideologically conflictive donor aid programmes, multinational corporate legal discords, par...
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This article examines the recommendations of the recent Productivity Commission Inquiry regarding the right to repair through the lens of social issues surrounding the right to repair movement. It describes the right to repair movement in Australia and globally and examines which repair practices are considered important by the Commission, and the...
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There has been profound growth in the adoption of off-grid solar devices across Sub-Saharan Africa over the last decade. However, there has been limited attention given to the afterlives of these devices and their justice implications. This is of particular concern as these increasing rates of off-grid solar adoption are across contexts in which re...
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Community forestry praxis has a long history in Nepal. The country is often considered an exemplar in promoting community forestry for environment and development. In this paper, we provide a critical review of Nepali community forestry scholarship to offer internationally relevant lessons and to identify areas of future research. Our review shows...
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Colonial wildlife conservation initiatives in Africa emerged during the late 19th century, with the creation of different laws to restrict hunting as well as with the setting up of game reserves by colonial governments. Key influential figures behind this emergence were aristocratic European hunters who had a desire to preserve African game populat...
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Pacific Island Countries and Territories have set ambitious targets for energy access and the transition to sustainable energy. These efforts, however, are being severely impacted by shocks and stresses such as climate change, natural hazards and the COVID-19 pandemic. Resilience is a central pillar for energy policy in the region, but innovative a...
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Within the Southeast Asian context, urban megaprojects are often delivered in aquatic or semi-aquatic contexts, transforming local hydrological systems used for sanitation, agriculture, sustenance, resource use and cultural purposes by the local populations. This paper addresses a key knowledge gap on the impacts of urban megaprojects on water secu...
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Solar products are increasingly framed as being integral to addressing energy poverty in the Global South. This is especially the case in sub-Saharan Africa where the promise of centralized grids has given way to an emphasis on off-grid market-based solutions. While these solutions promise much, the quality and originality of these products is ofte...
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The emergence of an unconventional extractive industry of coal seam gas (CSG) in New South Wales, Australia has caused a range of social tensions. Although the industry has generally received strong support from state-level governments across Australia, an eclectic social movement has arisen in opposition. Critical questions of justice have emerged...
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International fieldschools to developing countries have become an important component of the university curriculum because they provide experiential learning and research skills, while also contributing a range of soft skills such as resilience, empathy, resourcefulness, critical thinking, and cross-cultural communication. Yet, with the increasing...
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In this paper, we explore the practices and spaces of mobile phone charging in The Gambia and Sierra Leone through the lens of ‘electricity scarcity’ as a means to conceptualise electricity access in West Africa. The International Energy Agency (IEA) is seen as the leading authority on the state of global energy access, and is frequently cited by g...
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Over the past few years there has been a vertical-turn in human geographical scholarship with research, especially in the sub-fields of geopolitics and urban geography, increasingly focused in trying to understand space volumetrically: how subterranean and atmospheric spaces are entangled with surface socio-political dynamics. In this paper, we bui...
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Wildlife is persisting in urban areas of Australia even though white settler colonialism has resulted in the large-scale destruction of forested landscapes. While many bird species are in decline, the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo has found emergent opportunities for flourishing within the built environment. Cockatoos are actively generating relationall...
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A convoluted network of different water governance systems exists around the world. Collectively, these systems provide insight into how to build sustainable regimes of water use and management. We argue that the challenge is not tomake the systemless convoluted, but rather to support positive and promising trends in governance, creating a vision f...
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Technological advances are increasing interest in the potential role of information and communication technologies (ict) in enabling quality education outcomes in Africa. At present, however, the geographies of ict use in Africa is poorly understood, and ict education policy development has occurred in a relative empirical void. Relevant studies ha...
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This paper explores how social networks and bonds within and across organisations shape disaster operations and strategies. Local government disaster training exercises serve as a window through which to view these relations, and ‘social capital’ is used as an analytic for making sense of the human relations at the core of disaster management opera...
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In this paper, we argue that the role of the underground has been discursively absent from contemporary debates about the Anthropocene. We build on recent geographical scholarship that has challenged ‘surface bias’ and call for geographical debate to go deeper into the third dimension; to explore the Subterranean Anthropocene; to embrace volume ont...
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With Sustainable Development Goal 7, the United Nations has declared its ambition to ensure access to modern energy for all by 2030. Aside from broad appeals to differentiated responsibilities and 'greener' technologies, however, the goal leaves significant procedural questions unaddressed. This paper argues that the basic orientation of this appro...
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The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) in Australia is one of the largest subterranean aquifer systems in the world. In this article we venture into the subterranean “resource environment”’ of the Great Artesian Basin and ask whether new insights can be provided by social analyses of the “vertical third dimension” in contemporary contests over water and co...
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In many parts of Africa, the spread of grid electrical networks into rural areas has remained a pernicious challenge. There has been a persistent bias towards expanding electricity access to urban centres, perhaps understandably as they are the main drivers of national economic growth. In contrast, the expansion of grid electricity networks into ru...
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In the late-1990s anthropologists James Fairhead and Melissa Leach declared in a series of seminal publications that mainstream understandings of Sierra Leonean forest cover history had greatly exaggerated its past extent and rate of conversion to other land uses. Using archival evidence, they recast the ‘official’ story as a product of antiquated...
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In contrast to media fixation on the physical violence of recent West African conflicts, scholars have emphasized the lasting effects of massive population displacements. In Sierra Leone, for example, roughly 2 million of a total 3.8 million people had to migrate internally and several hundred thousand more fled to neighboring countries. As many ha...
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This paper details Geza Teleki's contributions in the development of a wildlife conservation movement in Sierra Leone in the late 1970s to early 1980s. Teleki, a primatologist researcher and an animal rights activist, arrived in Sierra Leone in 1979 to find an inactive government wildlife conservation program and a thriving primate export sector. S...
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Over the past two decades there has been a proliferation of energy kiosks across Africa and other parts of the developing world. Typically drawing on solar power, these enterprises provide services such as mobile phone and lantern recharging to (largely) rural communities with limited or no other access to electricity. This article develops a broad...
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Using a state, pressure, response framework, we provide an evidence-based reflection on environmental outcomes in Australia and New Zealand across the domains of climate change, biodiversity, freshwater and marine management, emphasising the role of Indigenous and business perspectives. Significant developments have occurred in the past 20 years th...
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Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has had a complex and dynamic history, which has seen processes such as the rise of the Maya civilisation, colonial conquests, indigenous rebellions and a range of commercial activities. The Peninsula also represents a unique ecological place in the world: no rivers or major lakes exist on its surface - rather fresh water...
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Bien que la production de bois dédiée à l’exportation ait une longue histoire en Afrique subsaharienne, cet article s’intéresse à l’actuelle re)commercialisation des forêts de cette région. En tant que chercheurs en écologie politique combinant « les préoccupations de l’écologie et une économie politique au sens général », nous observons que les pa...
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Abstract: For more than a decade, Sierra Leonean resource management policy has been firmly embedded in broader political commitments to decentralisation and community 'empowerment'. However, in response to a recent rapid incursion of foreign timber interests, the country's Forestry Division has developed new legislation, recentralizing control of...
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This article examines the issue of deforestation on Sierra Leone's Freetown Peninsula, specifically analysing the gap that exists between the rhetoric surrounding the problem of deforestation and the subsequent policies and projects that are implemented to address it. It is argued in this paper that this gap can be better understood by examining ho...

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Projects (2)
Project
Research on energy in Africa and the South Pacific